Monday, March 12, 2007


Just as LoKor brought you Venom, I bring you Rorshach. This is a leaked image of the violent yet quiet character from director Zack Snyder's upcoming adaptation of "Watchmen." The image was pulled from, which I accessed through

By the way, for anyone interested in comic book and graphic novel adaptations to film, I highly recommend

"300" - Battle Hardened

Sorry this review is coming in a little bit late. I had to battle my way through Xerxes' army on the way over here, with just one other person at my side.

As LoKor pointed out, "300" was the top film at the box office this weekend. Not a big surprise. Nor, really, is the general reaction to it. "300' is a long, bloody, albeit sometimes very pretty picture to watch. The basic premise is 300 Spartans stand up to the entire Persian army, because they have been ordered by Greek wise men not to engage in a full war.

I think that the best way to review this film is by using the old saying, "you get what you've asked for." Knowing full well that this movie is about 300 men trying to stay alive against insurmountable odds for as long as possible, no viewer should go in expecting anything less than at least 3/4 of the films 117 minute running time to be spent on the battle field. However, that aside, there's no reason why 1/2 of that time had to be spent in slow motion. Sometimes, yes, for effect, seeing a beheading or an impaling in slow-mo can be cool. Yet not every beheading or impaling should be in slow-mo. Slow motion was used so much throughout this film, that I was actually wondering what some of the violence would have looked like in real time. I worked on a film last summer where the director wanted nearly every shot to be a dolly shot. Well, yes, dolly work looks good on the monitor. It will look good every time. However, that does not mean that when all is said and done, he could neglect the fact that he had dollyed the previous scene, and could therefore do it again. The same goes for the use of slow-mo in "300;" it looks cool here and there, but I feel like the filmmakers forgot they had used it 12 times already, so they used it another 48 times. Enough was enough.

In the end, this film, like the Spartans, is strong enough to stand alone... but know what you're in for. It is a very macho, blood and boob filled flick, where when the men aren't engaging in a "mine is bigger than yours" on the battlefield, they're doing so by seeing who can shout the loudest, most manly things. Is it a pretty picture? Absolutely. Is it a pretty good action movie? Yes. Does it sometimes get repetitive? Yep. Did I always understand why the Spartans gave up their shelter and tactical advantages to just jump into the oncoming army and fight? No, there were only 300 of them. That was dumb. Bottom line: see it if you want a good bit of escape for 2 hours, but certainly do not let any hype you might hear influence your expectations. You will most likely be let down.


P.S. Don't you just love it when critics try too hard to come up with a clever title, and it doesn't wind up giving even the slightest hint of what they thought of the film?

Box Office: "300," FTW

Not that it took a whole lot of skill to predict, but let's just say I called it.

Not one to disappoint, by grossing $70 million this weekend, 300 made a cool $42 million more than it's closest competitor, the rambunctious Wild Hogs. As I also speculated, Zodiac missed it's one chance to shine in its opening weekend. It came in this week at number 5, raking in only $6.7 million, trailing other such cinematic juggernauts as Bridge to Terabithia, and, you guessed it, Ghost Rider.

According to Yahoo News, 300 should break the box office record for best March opening, besting last year's Ice Age 2 ($68 million), and doing so on roughly 850 fewer theaters. Fan boys unite!

Moreover, Yahoo News is also quick to point out that 300 stands to have the third best opening weekend ever for an R-rated film, trailing only The Matrix: Reloaded, and The Passion of the Christ. You can check out the entire Yahoo News article here.

Looking ahead, it should be interesting to see what next week's drop-off will be. While the numbers are strong, almost everything I've heard about 300 has been mediocre at best, summed up by a prediction made last week by Norphen:

Me: at least we know it'll be manly and intense...for whatever that's worth.

Norphen: Yeah, though in some ways I could see that being a flaw. If every line is as obscenely overdramatic as the "THIS IS....SPARTA?!?!?!111one!" I could get bored with it

Cake Man should have a review of 300 posted soon. Be sure to check back here for updates.

Write on...